We had the good fortune of connecting with Dylan Laylani Billingsley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dylan Laylani, how do you think about risk?
I absolutely love taking risks, I think understanding risk is one of the most empowering things a person can do, here’s why.
We often associate risk-taking with the boldest and the bravest, but the truth is we all take risks every single day. Risk-taking is not challenging for us, almost everything has associated risks, even crossing the street or driving to work. In fact, risk is so mundane that taking risks really just means taking action. So what’s the big whoop? If we can risk death every time we get in a car why can’t we risk failure in pursuit of our dreams? Why do we see potential risks as huge obstacles standing between us and our goals? The truth is: it’s not about the risk at all, It’s how we feel about the risk that can so often holds us back.
We are emotionally motivated beings, we make decisions based on how we feel. That’s why you didn’t go on that second date, why you avoid doing your chores and why you love apple products. It’s also why women enroll in my course instead of reading dozens of stuffy self-development books, it just feels better!
When you calculate the risks of a situation, it’s meant to be nothing but a tool. Risk analysis is just statistics, just some math to help you make an informed decision and maybe even help guide your actions. The presence of risk alone does not stop us from acting, but fear of those risks certainly does. This makes risky decisions so much more exciting because it means if you can master your emotions, you can master your life.
When you learn to master yourself, fear no longer shapes your actions and risk stops feeling so scary. When you learn the formula for real self love and self mastery you develop an unshakable confidence that makes anything feel possible. Confidence is the antidote for every self-limiting belief we have, including fear, self doubt, perfectionism, the list goes on.
So why do I love risk? Where there’s risk, there’s opportunity, and opportunity met with confidence instead of fear is how we make our dreams come true.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I still remember the exact moment I knew I wanted to own my own business. I owe it all to my sister, really. The year was 2002, the summer was hot, our bikes were new, and we had a pocket full of quarters to spend on Reese’s and CD’s at the local corner store. My sister and I were headed home after a whole day of selling our homemade brownies to the neighborhood.
I remember looking through my handlebars at my sister’s silhouette against the west Texas sunset and savoring our new sense of freedom. It was that moment that would shape my ambitions for life. We were two young girls who knew just enough about the world to know that we wanted three things more than anything else: to help our family, to make a difference in the world, and to be as free as possible. We were social entrepreneurs in the making, we just didn’t know it yet.
My sister would go on to be an incredible athlete and pursue a career in sports medicine. To most, she seemed to have it all together, but the reality was she had been struggling with her self-worth for years, almost in silence. This greatly affected her confidence and eventually led to an eating disorder and depression.
Years, tears and countless talks later I had become an expert on helping others realize their self worth. And my sister Michelle was finally happy, finally confident, finally living.
Then about a year later, at the peak of her life, Michelle passed away.
The accident that claimed her life would drastically change mine in every way imaginable.
After a lot of therapy (#normalizetherapy) I parted ways with my dream job in Learning and Development and set out to use my expertise to help women all over the world realize their self-worth and create a life they love.
I created The Confidence Course so that no woman has to feel the way my sister did for so long, and so that women everywhere can learn how to generate real confidence that can help them thrive in life and business.
I co-founded Deeply Rooted Collective so that women who seek support, community, and sisterhood can have spaces where vulnerability is celebrated and jealousy and competition are checked at the door.
Thanks to Michelle, she and I are finally helping our family, making a difference in the world, and being as free as possible.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Where I’m from there’s only dirt and flatland. For hundreds of miles, west Texas pretty much looks the same. Because of this i’ve developed a huge appreciation for a beautiful view. My friends and I also have a passion for yummy food, so here’s a day full of fun, food and beautiful views in San Diego.
We start the day with a Smoothie from SD Blenders, my favorite is the baja guava. With our smoothies to-go we set off for a morning hike at Torrey Pines National Park, this hike’s descent ends on the beach where we’d spend some time in the water to cool down before heading out to get breakfast. For breakfast we stop by Kono’s Cafe in Pacific beach and then take a walk down the pier. Then we head over to Barrio Logan to check out the beautiful mexican culture, do a little shopping, and to appreciate the art at Chicano park.
For lunch we’d head over to C-level on harbor island. Besides their delicious food the main attraction here is the beautiful San Diego city skyline over the water. After getting the perfect pic for the ‘gram, we would take a walk downtown admiring the beautiful architecture and all the cute shops downtown has to offer. We’d stop at Pantoja Park briefly to play with some puppies and admire the view.
Then we’d head over to seaport village for some more shopping before we head off for the best tacos in the city for dinner, Tacos El Gordo. We take our tacos to-go and head over to Ocean Beach down in the sea caves of sunset cliffs to watch the sunset over the water.
After the sun has set we head back downtown for drinks at Altitude Sky Lounge. A swanky outdoor club located on the roof of the Gaslamp Marriott. After taking in the views we grab out coats and head out east to the campgrounds at Mt. Laguna where we light a campfire, play some tunes and enjoy the gorgeous view of the stars.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my work to my Sister, Michelle and my Mother, Yoly. My mother migrated to Texas from Mexico when she was around 19 years old. She didn’t speak English but quickly took advantage of the the opportunity to work in a restaurant. Starting as a waitress and eventually working her way up my mother became a well known cook in my small hometown. She fell madly in love and started a family, all while building a career in the restaurant industry. After experiencing the loss of my father, my mother found herself with only a house full of kids and the American dream she was determined to provide them.
Soon my mom took all her knowledge from the restaurant industry and opened her own restaurant: Yoly’s Place. With one simple goal, putting her kids through college. It was at her restaurant that my sisters and I first got a real look at what owning a business is like. We learned hard work and dedication and the importance of going after what you want.
Without my Mother’s sacrifices, lessons, and love I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am a strong woman because a strong woman raised me. Gracias Mama, te quiero mucho.
I’d also like to shoutout my chosen family. My boyfriend Ben, my sisters Tanya, Val, Remy, Shylowe, Ava, Anahi and Ashli and my brothers Tucker, Brendan, Will, Kae, and Joe for believing in me, for always supporting me, and for encouraging me to follow my dreams. You are all my greatest accomplishment, without you i’d be doing it alone.
And to all the little girls who think their dreams aren’t possible because of what they’ve been through, or where they grew up, or what they look like, or who their family is, this is for you. You can do it baby girl, don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Instagram: @DylanLaylani @DeeplyRootedCollective